Jazzercise is 60 minutes of cardio, strength training, and stretching that incorporates moves from hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, jazz dance, kickboxing, and resistance training with handheld weights. Dancing with the Stars multiple-champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of Jazzercise's improvisational workouts, though luckily you won't need her dance moves to get the most out of your class. If you're prone to first-class jitters, though, you can review the basic moves online before you go. Expect to burn up to 500 calories with each go-round.
Sequestered from the fitness studio, cardio room, and kid center at St. Julian's Fitness, a quiet room plays host to massage therapy. Here, a duo of licensed massage therapists—Bethany Kovach and Ryan Debelak—improves muscle health with soothing hand movements. Both Bethany and Ryan possess the know-how to induce relaxation with gentle Swedish strokes, relieve chronic pain with firm deep-tissue kneads, and target areas of tension with a sports massage. However, Bethany alone practices Thai-yoga massage, which is performed on the floor without lotion, oil, or ranch dressing. Massage therapy is available without a gym membership, and guests are welcome to enjoy a 15-minute Jacuzzi session prior to each appointment.
Instructor Denise Ellis combines her background in education with her training in Hatha, Vinyasa, and Ayurveda practices to offer students a variety of yogic opportunities. Awaken muscles and joints in gentle beginner’s sessions designed to teach basic breathing techniques, fundamental poses, and advanced methods for protesting gravity. The postures that encompass the intermediate Hatha classes raise the bar for students’ disciplines as the instructor adds more poses while emphasizing proper body alignment and introducing yoga philosophies into the mix. The schedule boasts both morning and evening classes to provide students with varying lifestyles a chance to downward-dog in a socially acceptable manner.
Though its name may conjure fantasies about sprinting down crowded streets or bench-pressing buses stalled in traffic, Urban Active Fitness grants its members abundant space in which to spread out and follow their workout proclivities. At dozens of locations across the Midwest and South, members can sculpt their bodies in whichever manner they choose—from personal training with resistance machines and free weights to group classes in cycling, Zumba, and Pilates. A number of group classes draw on the gym’s urban theme for inspiration. Urban Iron, for example, focuses on building muscles that resemble the cast-iron beams of skyscrapers, and Urban Yoga closely imitates the poses necessary to squeeze onto a subway train at rush hour.
Though the certified instructors at Zen in the District – Yoga each lay claim to different style specialties—Hatha, Vinyasa, Sanga, and Amrite among them—they share the aim of heightened self-awareness. Their classes cater to all fitness levels, focusing on introspection more than flawless posing technique or perfect nostril positioning during breath work. Whether they are inside the studio or on the courthouse lawn across the street, the teachers strive to downplay stress with caring vibes. They also apply their compassion to community projects, demonstrating yoga for interested Girl Scout troops and regularly donating to the Seagate Food Bank.
A cardio workout at Fitness 19 doesn’t just mean elevating your heart rate—it means choosing among state-of-the-art Life Fitness cardio machines, which range from treadmills and ellipticals to stair climbers and freight elevators. Free weights, such as plate-loaded Hammer Smith equipment, enhance the traditional strength workouts, and the squat machine and other weight apparatuses allow for more structured lifts. A team of personal trainers helps clients incorporate these fitness tools into personalized regimens, and workout classes such as the Silver Sneakers sessions for seniors.